[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Adamstown as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 6-4-1996 by Ord. No. 275 (Ch. 1, Part 5, of the 1990 Code of Ordinances)]
By Act 1 of 1996, the General Assembly amended the Municipal Claims and Tax Liens Act of May 16, 1923, P.L. 207, No. 153, as amended, to specifically authorize inclusion of attorneys' fees incurred in the collection of delinquent accounts as part of a municipal lien. Act 1 requires that municipalities, by ordinance, adopt a schedule of attorneys' fees. Act 1 further requires that, prior to imposing attorneys' fees, the municipality must notify the owner of the property with the delinquent account by certified mail of the municipality's intent to recover these fees and the manner by which assessment of the fees may be avoided by payment of the delinquent account. It is the intention of the Borough Council in enacting this article to comply with the requirements of Act 1 of 1996.
Unless otherwise stated, the following words shall, for the purpose of this article, have the meanings herein indicated:
- The Borough of Adamstown, Lancaster and Berks Counties, Pennsylvania.
- BOROUGH COUNCIL
- The governing body of the Borough.
- BOROUGH SOLICITOR
- The person or law firm appointed by the Borough Council to serve as legal counsel to the Borough in accordance with § 1116 of the Borough Code.
- DELINQUENT ACCOUNT
- Any sums due and owing to the Borough which have not been paid within the time required by the Borough's ordinances, rules, regulations or policies, including, but not limited to, charges for sewer service, water service, removal of nuisances or any other charge which may lawfully be imposed by the Borough and for which a municipal claim may be filed.
- HOURLY RATE
- The hourly fee charged by the Borough Solicitor to the Borough consistent with the ordinary and customary charges by the Borough Solicitor for similar services in the community, but in no event shall the hourly rate exceed the rate charged by the Borough Solicitor to the Borough when fees are not reimbursed by or otherwise imposed upon delinquent customers of the Borough.
Editor's Note: See 8 Pa.C.S.A. § 1116.
The Borough Council specifically authorizes the recovery of attorneys' fees incurred by the Borough in the collection of delinquent accounts from the person or persons who are responsible for the payment of such delinquent accounts. The Borough Council authorizes the Borough Secretary or the Assistant Secretary to take all actions required by applicable law to enable the Borough to recover attorneys' fees incurred from the persons responsible for this cost and to include such attorneys' fees in municipal claims. This authorization includes, but is not limited to, sending notification to such persons of the intention of the Borough to impose attorneys' fees incurred in collection efforts upon such persons.
The Borough shall impose attorneys' fees upon persons who have delinquent accounts in accordance with the following schedule of the minimum time required by the Borough Solicitor for the listed service times the hourly rate of the Borough Solicitor in effect at the time the Borough Solicitor performed the service on behalf of the Borough:
The services and minimum times expended by the Borough Solicitor for the services set forth in § 173-4 of this article are based upon the experience of the Borough Solicitor and upon standard collection practices. Should the person or persons responsible for payment of a delinquent account take action which will require the Borough Solicitor to perform additional or more time-consuming services than contemplated by § 173-4, it is the intention of the Borough to recover all of its attorneys' fees so incurred. Such actions include, but are not limited to, filing of counterclaims, challenging the legal power of the Borough to impose and collect the fee, rate, charge or other cost or similar actions.